Eric Winston

Posted: March 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 27 Comments »

Les Bowen reported today that the Eagles have been in touch with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for Chiefs RT Eric Winston.  The Chiefs recently cut Winston.  I initially doubted whether the Eagles should have interest.  Winston will turn 30 in the upcoming season.  Les indicates the team does in fact have some interest in Winston.

Winston was a stud RT for the Texans for several years.  He is tough and durable.  He has started all 16 games each of the last 6 seasons.  That’s really impressive.  Winston is also known as a very high character guy.  The guy just suffered through a miserable 2-14 season in KC, but went on Twitter to thank the team and fans for a great year.  Even if he doesn’t mean it, you like the fact he’s smart enough to realize the value in saying it.

I didn’t pay any attention to Winston this year in KC.  So when Les reported the Eagles interest, I decided to watch a couple of games.  I intentionally chose games in the early to middle part of the year.  I could see where a veteran might get sloppy late in a 2-14 year.

I watched Winston vs OAK and SD.  I was not impressed.

He is a smart, veteran player.  I only noted one play where he did something dumb.  There was a defender over the RG and then one way to Winston’s outside.  For some reason, Winston looked to the inside at the snap.  He then turned back outside as the wide defender ran by him.  The defender hit the QB and knocked the ball loose.  You always secure the inside first, but the RG appeared to cleanly have that guy so Winston should have focused on the outside rusher, who had no one to account for him except Winston.

Winston is good on run plays where he can fire off the ball and get upfield.  He is an aggressive run blocker and still shows a bit of a nasty streak.

I wasn’t as impressed with Winston’s blocking at the LOS.  He doesn’t use his hands well.  You don’t expect an OL to get his hands cleanly on defenders on every play, but Winston really struggled to do it with any regularity.  He would make initial contact, but then wasn’t able to sustain blocks.  He would wall off the DE on a backside run with his shoulder, but the defender would be able to get by him.

Pass protection was an issue.  Winston was consistently jacked-back by power rushers.  He would be able to anchor eventually, but consistently gave too much ground.  I saw him get beat to the inside in both games.  I saw speed rushers get by him.  Winston wasn’t getting beaten so badly that he was a detriment to the offense, but he simply wasn’t winning the 1-on-1 battles enough.

Winston is an adequate starter, but a descending player.  He’s not going to get any better than what he is.  There is a reason KC cut him, after all.

I would prefer the Eagles pass on him.  I’d rather have Dennis Kelly play RT.  He’s not as good as Winston right now, but he has upside and this is the year to let guys like Kelly learn.

I would be open to signing Winston to a 1-year deal and having him compete for the RG/RT spots.  Honestly, having him and Danny Watkins fight for the RG role would be okay with me.  Then Herremans and Kelly would be the guys at RT.

I don’t have interest in signing Winston to a 2 or 3-year deal and plugging him in as a starter anywhere on the OL.  Competition? Okay. Insurance policy? Okay.  I just don’t think he’s a guy we should look at as a solution.

It is possible that Roseman simply made the call to find out what Winston’s situation is.  Can’t hurt to ask if he’s looking for a multi-year deal or open to a 1-year contract.  You also get an idea of his price range.

We’ll see what happens.

* * * * *

In the interest of fairness, I’ll share some opinions from other sources.  Apparently PFF had him rated 9th.  I just don’t know if that is overall OTs or just among RTs.  I respect the work those guys do, but often find they see things differently than me.

Jimmy Bama put up a post on Winston that was more favorable.  He watched a different game so that is interesting.

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  • Iskar36

    I think if they looked at Winston, it would most likely have to be as a short term solution. I don’t know about a 1 year deal, but he obviously wouldn’t be the long term fix at RT or RG. In addition, regardless of whether it is a 1 year or a 3 year contract (which i would imagine is filled with some sort of incentives and allows the team to release him relatively easily), wouldn’t you think he would still only be brought here to compete for a starting role rather than handed it outright? I would argue that if you’re a believer in Watkins, this is actually a great potential move. You sign a guy who can be an adequate starter for the short term, but if Stoutland really can manage to turn things around for Watkins, you can move him back into the starting role without having to sacrifice another young player.

    I guess the caveat to all of this would be whether Winston was willing to come to a place where he would compete. From the way you wrote the piece, I got the sense that he isn’t a guy that would warrant a huge contract necessarily, but maybe I misread that part of it. To me, if he can be gotten for a reasonable price that had ways to cut him later, I think that would at least take care of one need temporarily.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m not sure what the league’s perception of Winston is. I’m not in love with what I saw, but PFF thougth he had a good year. Hard to say.

      • T_S_O_P

        PFF rated Bunkley as our best pass rusher his last year with the Eagles. Sometimes they see what they want to see.

      • austinfan

        To cut Winston a break, it’s hard for a veteran to stay motivated and focused on a really bad team, it’s not like he’s working for his first contract, and it was a lousy situation. At least the Eagles were contenders until a few games after the bye week when things fell apart, KC was a death march.

        However, what this may say is Chip ain’t thrilled with Kelly as his RT, Kelly is going to be a big guy, I figure he’s going to fill out to 330 lbs or so in the next couple years, and while he’s not slow, he’s not exactly a second level blocker either. Winston might be a short-term stopgap option while they draft a young mobile RT.

        • TommyLawlor

          Possible.

  • http://twitter.com/100andBenPercnt Ben Aven

    I agree, why pay for a descending player to start when you could give Dennis Kelly that valuable experience. Personally, I would love to draft an OT in the 2nd or 3rd round (Kyle Long is a personal favorite) and let him and Kelly compete for the RT spot and slide Herremans to RG. Whoever wins, you have a young RT for the future that has game experience.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      bonus: whomever loses the RT battle would remain to provide depth. also…by moving herremans to G, you also bump Watkins to a backup role, also improving depth at G.

      • Iskar36

        To be fair, at least in the short term, signing an older vet does the same thing in terms of depth. The two differences being that with the veteran, it is only short term, but you also know that he has been able to succeed in the NFL whereas a rookie may not be able to make that transition.

        To me, if we look at this purely from a isolated stand point, I absolutely agree that going for the young guy somewhere in the draft is the better strategy. The two concerns I have with that strategy though are 1, depending on where the guy we target falls on our board, are we forced to reach for him in the draft, and 2, with all the holes we will be looking to fill in FA and the draft, which is better, a FA veteran Olineman + a little more flexibility in the draft to go after another player (BPA preferably), or a young Olineman.

    • TommyLawlor

      I also would like to draft an OT early. He must be able to play LT in case Peters gets hurt. That is the priority. He could also compete for time on the right side.

  • Gregory Post

    Seems like Winston will get overpayed by a desperate team looking for tackle help anyway, like Detroit for example, so yeah its probably not worth it.

    • TommyLawlor

      Winston got overpaid last year. Doubt it happens again. He’s been cut 2 years in a row.

    • Iskar36

      If you are forced to overpay for him, I fully agree he is not worth it. The only reason the Eagles should go after him (assuming they like his talent) is if they can get him for a relatively cheap contract with the ability to cut him if that contract is longer than 1 year in my opinion.

    • holeplug

      Winston won’t cost much because there are better tackles available in FA and he needs to be in a zone blocking scheme.

  • TommyLawlor

    Eagles interested in Arizona QB Matt Scott.

    http://eaglesblog.net/2013/03/eagles-interested-in-qb-matt-scott/

    • Iskar36

      It seems almost every year you talk about one guy several times that you think will be an Eagles target later in the draft and end up being right. There was Boykin, Casey Matthews, Cornelius Ingram. I’m getting a sense that Matt Scott might be that guy this year.

    • ACViking

      has C-Kelly already abandoned his “Big Hands for QBs” requirement?

      • Anders

        I think people are putting to much stock into that quote because the other part about hand placement are always left out.

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        He may just be getting over his fear of carnies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXRfnIfFYFI

    • Baloophi

      Watching a few clips on Youtube (that’s how pro scouts do it, right?), it seems he gets rid of the ball quickly… I don’t mean mechanically, but as in 3 steps and fire. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who’s going to fart around in the pocket looking for the deep ball and big play.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        Well, that’s the system. It’s designed to get the ball out quickly on most plays.

        • D3FB

          Hey that system has produced plenty of pro QBs like Pat White… oh wait

      • SleepingDuck

        I also watched a few clips and it seemed like there were a lot of drops by the Arizona receivers as well.

  • Baloophi

    As the old saying goes: “If your first Winston doesn’t succeed at right tackle, try try another.”

    • ICDogg

      Back when I used to smoke cigarettes, Winston was my brand. (almost as long ago as that ad).

    • TommyLawlor

      Classic.

  • A_T_G

    So, Winston was cut last off season because he was going to cost 5.5 million. The Chiefs saw that and scooped him up and promised him a million more in his first off season as a Chief. That is some kick ass negotiating. No wonder they get to pick before we do.

    On the topic of kick ass negotiating, this is an enjoyable read.

    http://bloggingthebeast.com/2013/03/06/explaining-the-cowboys-likely-future-pitfalls-of-restructured-contracts-in-more-detail/#more-8779

  • livingonapear

    I really want to like Winston as a possible RT, but I just don’t. I’m a little more optimistic after ready Jimmy’s right up, but I’m still not convinced that he will register even as solid.